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Sunday, 31 July 2016

North Yorks Forest and Moors

Another quiet weekend birdwise so I decided on a day in the North Yorks Forest with Raptors in mind then the Moors with Dragonflies in mind, rather than viewing from the usual watchpoint I thought I would try it from a different perspective and took a drive around the Langdale Forest, highlights were a juv Cuckoo with its Meadow Pipit parents, a small flock of Crossbills touring around and large flock of Swifts and Hirundines feeding around Stoney Rigg, Raptors were a bit thin on the ground although I did eventually get two or three Buzzards and a male Goshawk carrying prey as I was leaving. A drive through Troutsdale was fairly uneventful and upon arriving at Fen Bog the afternoon started to cloud up and although a few Butterflies were still flying I didn’t see any Dragonflies, a Slow Worm was a good find though, I then took a scenic drive around to Tranmire Bogs in Wheeldale but with no sign of the sun reappearing it was a similar story there, I called it a day.

Buzzard being buzzed by a Swallow

Hilla Green

Slow Worm was a good find

Fen Bog

Quite a few of these little micro Moths about

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Local News July

As to be expected nothing much happening birdwise this month, the Ings had been cut during the second week which is far better timing than in recent years when it was sometimes as early as late May/early June, at least the Reed Buntings will have got one brood off, but the cut brought in the opportunists, lots of Corvids and Pigeons around and a Buzzard and a pair of Kestrels were buzzing the area on the 14th, also ideal for loafing Gulls although just mainly Black Headed and Common at the moment, the only other things of note were a pair of Mute Swan on the river throughout the month, a Kingfisher flying from the river to the Ings Dyke on the 14th and watching a Sparrowhawk on a successful hunt. It’s generally been quite warm though which in turn has attracted a few Insects out, Meadow Browns, Ringlets and Gatekeepers have taken to the wing this month and there has been a big increase in all three species of Whites, there was an intriguing sighting of a Marbled White in Clifton Park mid-month and a few Red Admirals have appeared this last week, not many Dragonflies about though although they have included Southern and Brown Hawkers, Broad Bodied Chaser and Black Tailed Skimmer.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Interesting Insects

Another Butterfly day today this time to Chambers Farm Woods in Lincs, it was a good start as a small group were watching a Purple Emperor in the Butterfly Garden as I arrived, very nice but it never opened its wings fully for the camera. I then had a couple of good walks around the site seeing a good selection of Butterflies including several White Admirals, a Purple Hairstreak that looked like it may land low down but didn’t and a White Letter Hairstreak that did but no further sightings of any Purple Emperors or yesterdays Silver Washed Fritillaries, a lot of Brown Hawker Dragonflies about as well but they didn’t pose. Mid-afternoon I headed for home and with a report of a Caspian Tern on the Humber at Faxfleet I called off at Alkborough on the offchance it may turn up there, there were a few juv Bearded Reedlings flitting about, a Marsh Harrier and several species of Wader but no big Terns.
Royalty in the Garden



Meadow Brown

Large Red

Blue Tailed

and a tatty Azure

High up Purple Hairstreak


low down White Letter Hairstreak

and some rather splendid White Admirals

Small Skipper

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Cumbrian Insect day

As there had been no news on the Sabine’s Gull at Carr Vale since around 1-30pm on Saturday and still none early this morning I decided on Plan B and headed over to Foulshaw Moss in Cumbria hoping for a Dragonfly tick in the form of White Faced Darter, however upon arrival I found out with good weather through May they had hatched early this year and had already gone over, one of the perils of short flight periods if you don't hit it right you miss them, plenty of Black Darters about though plus lots of Common Lizard basking on the boardwalks, birdwise there were a couple of the Ospreys sat on a distant tree, a Buzzard over and breeding Lesser Redpolls. After lunch I went round to Arnside Knot which was rather quiet considering it was a nice afternoon, surprisingly no Scotch Argus about but I did eventually get onto a very active High Brown Fritillary that fortunately kept returning to the same area so I got some decent views in the end.
Blue Tailed Damsel

Azure Damsel

Large Red Damsel

Common Darters

Basking Lizards

female Black Darter

some mighty fine males too

don't know what this one was up to

quite a few Large Skippers around as well

Whitbarrow Scar across the road

Ringlet at Arnside Knot

Meadow Brown

High Brown Fritillary

and Small Skipper